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Two Poems

Jamie McKendrick, 9 May 2019

... dispense – only for incoming not outgoing calls but a tiny lifeline to the ancient flat in via Torquato Tasso I shared with the din of Cerberus barking in the courtyard – forget the rat – and a crack the earthquake left in the vaulted ceiling. Thirty years on, in the small dark hours, I reach for the black Bakelite receiver to hear the music of ...

I Don’t Know Whats

Colin Burrow: Torquato Tasso, 22 February 2001

Jerusalem Delivered 
by Torquato Tasso, translated by Anthony Esolen.
Johns Hopkins, 490 pp., £50.50, November 2000, 0 8018 6322 8
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... No one would score many points in a game of Humiliation if they confessed they had not read Tasso’s Gerusalemme liberata. As his translator John Hoole put it in 1763, ‘Of all Authors, so familiarly known by name to the generality of English readers as Tasso, perhaps there is none whose works have been so little read ...

A heart with testicles

D.J. Enright, 9 May 1991

Goethe: The Poet and the Age. Vol. I: The Poetry of Desire, 1749-1790 
by Nicholas Boyle.
Oxford, 827 pp., £25, May 1991, 0 19 815866 1
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... to plucking poems out of the air: they were all ‘occasional’, rooted in reality. The play Torquato Tasso, completed in 1788, substitutes the court of Ferrara (where Duke Alfonso is proud to have the resident poet ‘as my servant’, but cannot approve when he avoids the circle of his friends) for that of Weimar, in a version of ‘but for the ...

Pillors of Fier

Frank Kermode: Anthony Burgess, 11 July 2002

Nothing like the Sun: reissue 
by Anthony Burgess.
Allison and Busby, 234 pp., £7.99, January 2002, 0 7490 0512 2
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... or Christopher Marlowe or Ben Jonson or, since his was assuredly an ‘alien pen’ (Sonnet 78), Torquato Tasso. Candidates for the doubtful honour of being the Dark Lady are discussed (so far as the list went in 1970) and a slight preference is registered for Mary Fitton, who had a good run for many years but, when investigated, turned out to have a ...

In Fiery Letters

Mark Ford: F.T. Prince, 8 February 2018

Reading F.T. Prince 
by Will May.
Liverpool, 256 pp., £75, December 2016, 978 1 78138 333 9
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... Element in Milton’s Verse, which stressed the influence of Pietro Bembo, Giovanni Della Casa and Torquato Tasso on the development of Milton’s rhetoric. Aspects of this study, as Hill notes in his essay, open illuminating vistas onto Prince’s own poetry. Of Della Casa, Prince writes: ‘It is learned poetry, so it asks for a somewhat learned ...

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